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Tribal Girl Opens 1st Medical Store In Maoist Stronghold

Chhattisgarh’s remote Abujmarh forest, a Maoist stronghold, has got its first medical store, thanks to the courage of a 23-year-old tribal woman. It’s just the sort of pep pill this inaccessible region needs.
Kirta Dorpa, of the Muria tribe, has opened her shop in Orcha in Narayanpur district. Abujmarh, a dense woodland of about 3,900 sq km in the district, is claimed by Maoists as a ‘liberated zone’ and government facilities are few and far between. So far, people had to travel 70km and more to Narayanpur to find a proper chemist.

Kirta’s medicine store is in the middle of a jungle, in the buffer zone of Indravati National Park. It was after the small Jan Aushadi Kendra shut down some months ago with no signs of reopening that Kirta decided to open the store. Kirta told TOI she went around asking locals what medicines they usually need. “Everything they need is now here,” she said.

“It was not easy to set up a medical store in such an inaccessible region. We fought hard to make it happen. I feel happy that my people and residents of this region won’t have to travel long distances to buy medicines. It will save time, money and perhaps lives,” Kirta, who has completed schooling from Orcha, told TOI.
Medicine store a boon for locals: District medical officer. Although free medicines are available at the Orcha community health centre, it’s not always well-stocked given the difficulty of running a government set-up in a Maoist-dominated area. Locals travelled long distances for medicines that one usually gets at a neighbourhood chemist.

Narayanpur chief medical officer Dr Anand Ram Gota said it’s a boon for villagers. “She has tied up with a pharmacist to open the medical store. While the bulk of medicines locals need are available at the community health centre, there are times when it faces a shortage. The medical store will be very beneficial for the locals,” he told TOI.

Refusing to take any credit for it, Kirta said her dream was possible because of the local sarpanch, panchayat secretary and local residents, who kept encouraging her through the hard times. – THE TIMES OF INDIA

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